Ransomware assaults are becoming more prevalent, and they may even be purchased as a service on the dark Web. There have been several cases in the press when big corporations have been left with little choice but to pay a ransom to regain access to their data, which may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The truth is that ransomware and other assaults are now a matter of when, rather than if. As a result, the capacity to respond and recover rapidly has become a critical component of successful ransomware defence, yet many organisations, particularly in South Africa, struggle with it.
Think through Some Statistics
According to Sophos’ State of Ransomware study, the average cost of resolving a ransomware attack in South Africa was R6.4 million ($428K) in the previous year.
South Africa ranks third in the world for the largest number of people targeted by ransomware attacks, according to a research by security firm Kaspersky. In addition, there was a 767 percent rise in targeted ransomware assaults from 2019 to 2020.
Practically half of South African ransomware victims (42%) paid the ransom, however only 24% of victims were able to retrieve all of their files, and 11% lost almost all of their data, whether they paid or not.
The cost of a successful ransomware exploit may bankrupt many South African firms, and paying the ransom does not ensure that their data would be returned in most circumstances. Businesses must be able to restore data rapidly across many environments, including physical servers, virtual machines, and cloud platforms.
To avoid ransomware file reinfections, they require faster recovery operations with proactive warnings and processes, clean and secure backups, and the ability to minimise lost income and business damage.
A Practical Response is Key
Responding after a ransomware assault has already entered an environment increases the likelihood of a complete recovery. To reduce the consequences of cyber attacks, it is critical to have preventive procedures in place.
This includes continuous data monitoring from the production environment to backup and honeypot solutions, which act as decoy systems to keep cyber thieves from encrypting business-critical data.
When an anomaly is discovered, it’s critical to be able to check that the backup data is good and to eliminate threats so that they don’t reinfect environments during recovery.
Automatically validating backups is also necessary to guarantee that, if they are utilised for recovery, all relevant data is recovered. Workflows and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for data protection, including tools like antivirus scans, should be coordinated and automated to guarantee that they are constantly up, operating, and safeguarding data.
This orchestration may also be used to build unique, relevant warnings and automated actions to ensure that businesses can respond correctly, such as immediately shutting down a virtual machine if an abnormality is discovered.
The capacity to investigate data breaches and conduct eDiscovery is also crucial, since it allows companies to learn from their mistakes and improve their backup and recovery methods in the future. This is crucial for understanding data and preventing risks.
While it is critical to respond quickly to dangers, the ultimate aim is to recover. Because the architecture of assaults varies, having a flexible strategy is necessary. This implies that the sequence in which data may be retrieved must change on the fly.
Flexible recovery techniques with built-in high availability enable organisations to quickly failover to their Disaster Recovery (DR) location.
Because recovery cannot be assured if the DR site becomes contaminated, this strategy necessitates the protection of the DR site to ensure its availability. Using the cloud for disaster recovery guarantees that organisations have the agility they need to recover fast.
Business continuity also need the capacity to recover both into and out of the cloud. Above all, recovery must be made as simple as possible to ensure that timeframes are kept to a minimum and that businesses can resume normal operations as soon as feasible following a ransomware assault.